Posted tagged ‘penny candy’

“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener.”

July 29, 2016

Rain! Finally we have rain, a gentle but persistent rain.

I shut off the air conditioning and opened the windows so I could hear the rain falling on the leaves. The day is extremely dark. I needed a light when I read the papers. The only light now is from my computer. The day is quiet. Rain does that, mutes most other sounds. According to the weather report, it will rain most of the day, and the Cape is under a flash flood warning.

It is only 72˚, the coolest day in a few weeks. I like having the doors and windows opened connecting me with outside. I was happy to turn off the air conditioner.

In the paper this morning I learned a new word for a grouping. The reporter wrote, “A flock of purple, white and red balloons was released.” Who knew many balloons were designated a flock?

I can’t imagine being on the road today. Tourists will be out and about trying to find something to while away the hours. Movie theaters and their parking lots will be filled so some cars will be parked outside the lots on grass and beside all the roads leading to the theaters. Souvenir shop owners love a rainy day.

During college summers I worked in Hyannis. It was crowded with people even on rainy days. Tourists didn’t seem to mind the weather. Cars crawled on Main Street in what looked like rush hour traffic. All on street parking spaces were taken. The store with the most customers sold penny candy, now a nickel or a dime. The Planter’s Peanut store also had a line of customers. I think they were drawn by the aroma. Every restaurant had lines. My favorite was the deli.

I’ll find enough around the house to keep me busy. I do need to make a dump run, but I’m not anxious to fight with the traffic. The dump is a few streets and three long lights away and one of them means waiting a few cycles before I get the green light.

A nap actually sounds good for today. I always think falling asleep to the sound of rain drops is the best nap of all.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

August 22, 2015

Last night it rained, but I missed it. The streets were still wet this morning so I didn’t miss it by much. I caught the annoying bug, but it wasn’t a cricket but rather a smokeippus alarmus more commonly known as a smoke alarm. It was time to change the battery.

Today is overcast and humid. We may even have more rain later. Movie night is postponed until tomorrow just in case. Someone is cutting his lawn, but the sound is muted in the thickness of the air. The feeders are popular this morning.

The red store and the white store were where we went for milk or bread or whatever else my mother needed. The white store was run by two old ladies, sisters I think. The red store was just one guy who smoked a lot. The store had a haze. The two ladies were patient and pleasant. Their store had a penny candy case, and they’d wait until we’d picked what we wanted. It was never easy. Sometimes I went for the hard candy like Mary Janes, Bit-o-Honey or the square candy with green mint and yellow banana flavors. All of them lasted a long time which was their appeal. Other times I went for the small, chocolatey, licorice candies with the racist name. We didn’t realize the meaning of that word. To us it was just the name of the candy. Sometimes I’d buy the paper with all the colored dots. The only problem was a bit of paper sometimes came with the dots. The ladies also had nickel bars, but we seldom had that much money. The Red Store had everything. The store was small and the aisles narrow, but every space was filled. There was even a frozen case on the far wall. I also remember a display of everything Hostess. It had penny candy, but the owner wasn’t very patient. Sometimes, though, I had to bike there to get what my mother wanted because the white store didn’t have it.

I miss the little stores. They helped make a neighborhood.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

June 13, 2014

The rain this morning was heavy for a while. The wind is still blowing. All my windows are closed to keep out the damp cold air. I’m even wearing socks.

I went out for breakfast and brought Gracie. I left her in the car with a couple of windows open. That’s when it started to pour. I had to run outside and shut the windows. Gracie was in the middle of the seat away from both windows. No dumb animal is my Gracie.

I used to love Bonomos turkish taffy. My favorite was vanilla. Banana was my second favorite. Finishing a whole bar was a huge investment in time and effort. To make it easier, I’d crack the bar so they’d be smaller pieces to chew because larger ones took forever. My jaw always got tired.

Fire balls were a challenge. The contest was for who could keep it in the mouth the longest without having to take it out for a breather. I used to move the fire-ball from one cheek to the other hoping it wouldn’t burn as much. My sister put it in a bowl of water so the red would wash off. In actual time, the burning didn’t last long, and the red disappeared, replaced by white. I liked it when the fire-ball finally got small enough to crack with my teeth.

When it came to penny candy, I always wanted the best buy for my penny. I’d look up and down the rows behind the glass counter trying to find the candy which lasted the longest. Even pennies were hard to come by so my candy choice had to be a wise one. Mint Juleps were a safe choice. They took a long time to chew and they had a great flavor. Banana splits were also a great choice. Like Mint Juleps, they took a while to chew. Root beer barrels, Squirrels and Mary Janes were also wise purchases. The only soft candy I usually bought was Bull’s Eyes. I always ate the outside caramel first and saved the middle for last. It was like having two different pieces of candy.

I wouldn’t dare eat most of those candies now, with the exception of Bull’s Eyes. Teeth are hard to come by.

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”

February 22, 2014

Usually Gracie is having her morning nap around this time but not today. The weather is beautiful, bright and warm. Gracie has been running in the yard almost since we both woke up. She comes in to look out the front door then goes back outside. She is one smart dog who knows to take advantage of a good thing when she sees it. Like Gracie, it is a day for me to be out somewhere, and I don’t think it matters where. I’ll lower the window and breathe in all the fresh air I can. I want to smell spring in the air.

Last night we had a spectacular rainstorm with thunder and lightning. I was in bed reading when it started. I loved it. Gracie, however, didn’t stir, didn’t even notice. Storms mean nothing to her.

The deck is now almost totally cleared of snow as is the backyard. Plow piles are still on corners but they are smaller and look the worse for the rain and the dirt from the road. I always wonder why the plows put those piles on the corners when right beside the corners might work just as well. If they do it so we can’t see oncoming cars, they succeed masterfully. 

Today is bike riding weather. I would maneuver mine out of the cellar, up the steep stairs, ride down the sacred grass hill and take off down the street. Maybe I’d be lucky and have a dime in my pocket, plenty of money for a couple of candy bars or lots of penny candy. I’d wear a jacket instead of a winter coat and hope not to be noticed by my mother who would demand a warmer coat, hat and mittens. One warm day does not spring make according to the Mother’s Creed to which they all adhered. I would have headed toward the field close to my house to check out the horses or to the farm at the other end of town to see the dairy cows. My town also had a barn behind the town hall where horses were kept. It had and still has a zoo. Next to the zoo was a barn filled with stalls and MDC police horses. I’d ride most of the day. There was so much to see. Finally I’d get hungry and cold and ready to go home. The bike went back into the cellar until the next warm day when I could resume my world travels.

“Candy is childhood, the best and bright moments you wish could have lasted forever.”

August 11, 2013

Ray Bradbury’s “All Summer in a Day” must have been inspired by a day like today. Delightful seems archaic but that’s all I can think of to describe it. The coolness of the morning is here in this dark room while the sun shines through the front door giving Fern a perfect place to nap. Her fur is even hot to the touch. The day gave me a burst of energy, and I have already changed the sheets on my bed, a chore I generally don’t like, put my new bedspread on it, swept the kitchen floor and taken a shower. That’s usually a whole day’s worth of expended energy.

Tonight is movie night. I was going to show West Side Story but I can’t find it. Later I’ll have to pick a few movies and let my friends decide. We’re having hot dogs and salad for dinner, nothing fancy. Cheese, dips and crackers and a game of Phase 10 will be first, and they’ll be movie snacks for later. I lean toward popcorn and Nonpareils.

I can’t believe that summer is almost over. Last year at this time I was getting excited about going back to Ghana. This year the big excitement was new pillows, a new spread for my bed and new bedroom curtains. I am nearly giddy.

My friends are going to Ghana, and I wish them the same feelings of being home that I felt. Last summer I was sitting on the main street of Bolga and having a Coke and watching the world walk. It was just so familiar. I remember we used to walk up a small flight of stairs to sit at the end store where there were a couple of outside tables. We’d have cold Cokes before heading home. Cold Coke was a rarity and a reward for a dusty shopping trip through the market. Bill asked if I was jealous of him and Peg and their trip: extremely was my answer.

Meanwhile, the pennies for my next trip mount up in the tin with the stars. I put in any change I get and a few dollar bills when I can.  Next week I’ll have to start redeeming my Coke cans. I have bags of them and figure I’ve got over $50.00 worth. That’ll go into the tin too. Austerity is never bad when the reason is good.

I used to love finding a couple of empty bottles when I was a kid. They meant a dime and that meant ten cents worth of penny candy, a whole bagful. The glass cabinet at the white store had wood all around the outside edges of it but inside of that cabinet was every kid’s dream. There were rows of boxes and each box had a different penny candy. The choices were almost overwhelming. I liked stuff which lasted a while, chewy stuff like Mary Jane’s and Squirrels (little did I know the relationship squirrels and I would have in the future). I like the wax bottles because you could chew the wax for a while. Fire balls were just about my favorites of them all. I always challenged myself to keep it in my mouth the whole time. Only the sissies couldn’t stand the heat. I was never among them!!

“Candy Corn is the only candy in the history of America that’s never been advertised. And there’s a reason. All of the candy corn that was ever made was made in 1911.”

October 26, 2010

Last night was so warm I slept with the bedroom window open. The wind was blowing hard, and I could hear the rustling of leaves. Just as I was falling asleep I thought I heard drops of rain, but I wasn’t sure if I was awake or drowsily dreaming. The drops seemed to fall too slowly to be real, but this morning, the street and driveway were wet. The deck is strewn with yellow leaves from the oak tree. The sun is shining. The day is early September warm.

It’s errand day. I always save my errands until I have a bunch as I figure it’s best to ruin one day by running around than several. The errands will start with the allergist and Staples in Hyannis then on to the Christmas Tree Shop for suet, Agway for bird seed and dog treats then finally the grocery store. My larder is empty. I have a list.

Whenever my mother needed anything during the week, one of us was dispatched to the corner store, either the red store or the white store. We never knew the store names. They were just known by their colors. The white store was closer by a couple of blocks. It was a great ride on my bike. I’d go down the lawn hill and hope my father wouldn’t see the bike track then I’d take the street on the left and follow it until the last turn, also a left. From the end of that street I could see the store. It was across Spring Street and facing that last road.

The white store had wooden display cases with glass across the front. That’s where the penny candy was stored. The ladies who ran the white store, sisters I think, were patient. They knew that spending even a couple of pennies was not to be rushed. I tended toward candy which lasted a long time like Squirrels, Mary Janes or those green and yellow wrapped square candies which hurt my jaw to chew. I loved Atomic fire balls but holding on to the handle bar with one hand and using my other hand to make sure my mother’s bag, usually filled with milk or bread, didn’t bump out of my bike basket made it impossible to take the fire ball out of my mouth when the heat got too great. Besides, those were best sucked with a water source nearby.

My mother was smart. She knew we’d hurry to the store when we could keep the change. It was never more than a nickel, but in those days, to us kids, that was big money.


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